Compiles Julia code to a standalone library (experimental)
395 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
October 2019


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This is an experimental package to compile Julia code to standalone libraries. A system image is not needed.

Installation and Usage

Installation is the same as any other registered Julia package

using Pkg

There are two main ways to use this package:

Linked compilation

The first option is via the compile function, which can be used when you want to compile a Julia function for later use from within Julia:

julia> using StaticCompiler

julia> fib(n) = n <= 1 ? n : fib(n - 1) + fib(n - 2)
fib (generic function with 1 method)

julia> fib_compiled, path = compile(fib, Tuple{Int}, "fib")
(f = fib(::Int64) :: Int64, path = "fib")

julia> fib_compiled(10)

Now we can quit this session and load a new one where fib is not defined:

julia> using StaticCompiler

julia> fib
ERROR: UndefVarError: fib not defined

julia> fib_compiled = load_function("fib")
fib(::Int64) :: Int64

julia> fib_compiled(10)

See the file tests/runtests.jl for some examples of functions that work with compile (and some that don't, marked with @test_skip).

Standalone compilation

The second way to use this package is via the compile_executable and compile_shlib functions, for when you want to compile a Julia function to a native executable or shared library for use from outside of Julia:

julia> using StaticCompiler, StaticTools

julia> hello() = println(c"Hello, world!")
hello (generic function with 1 method)

julia> compile_executable(hello, (), "./")

shell> ls -alh hello
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 user user 8.4K Oct 20 20:36 hello

shell> ./hello
Hello, world!

This latter approach comes with substantially more limitations, as you cannot rely on libjulia (see, e.g., StaticTools.jl for some ways to work around these limitations).

The low-level function StaticCompiler.generate_obj (not exported) generates object files. This can be used for more control of compilation. This can be used to cross-compile to other targets.


This feature allows one to change functionality when statically compiling. This uses code and API from Mixtape to transform lowered code much like Cassette.

To use the Mixtape feature, define a CompilationContext struct and pass this to any of the compilation functions with the mixtape keyword. Define transform and allow functions for this CompilationContext to define the transformation to be done.

See here for an example.


This package uses the GPUCompiler package to generate code.


  • GC-tracked allocations and global variables do work with compile, but the way they are implemented is brittle and can be dangerous. Allocate with care.
  • GC-tracked allocations and global variables do not work with compile_executable or compile_shlib. This has some interesting consequences, including that all functions within the function you want to compile must either be inlined or return only native types (otherwise Julia would have to allocate a place to put the results, which will fail).
  • Since error handling relies on libjulia, you can only throw errors from standalone-compiled (compile_executable / compile_shlib) code if an explicit overload has been defined for that particular error with @device_override (see quirks.jl).
  • Type instability. Type unstable code cannot currently be statically compiled via this package.
  • Doesn't work on Windows. PRs welcome.

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